News

SCDI announce national rural commission

April 2018

A new national rural commission that will look at the challenges and opportunities faced by the economy in rural areas, is being launched by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) today.

This independent commission will run for up to two years and will support businesses and drive inclusive growth by considering the short, medium, and long-term actions that can be taken to enhance the economic performance in rural areas.

Membership of the commission is comprised of different sectors and geographies of Scotland. It will engage with, and hear from, the diverse range of businesses and organisations working across rural Scotland and will make recommendations to help support growth and employment. These will be published throughout the working life of the commission.

Chris Gaffney, group finance director of Johnstons of Elgin, will Chair the SCDI Rural Commission.

Rural Commission Chair Chris Gaffney commented: "As a business with staff based across our bases in Elgin and Hawick we recognise the benefits of working in these areas of the country and the opportunities they present, but we also understand the challenges our employees face around access to transport, digital connectivity, and housing. We work hard to provide opportunities to upskill our workforce, but we know that access to labour can constrain our growth and that many businesses struggle to attract and retain the people they need to thrive.

"I welcome the establishment of the SCDI Rural Commission to look at how we deliver appropriate support and solutions and as Chair look forward to working with the other members of the commission to put forward actions to support sustainable economic growth throughout Scotland."

SCDI's Regional Director, Fraser Grieve, added: "There are many opportunities to drive further inclusive economic growth and to do so will require informed policy discussion and recommendations on a range of economic factors such as access to skilled labour, digital connectivity, housing, investment and transport.

"SCDI members have raised the importance of this work, which is reflective in their support in establishing this commission. I'm confident this group will come forward with solutions that could meet the short-term challenges, as well as present actions that can deliver long term results for those living and working across the country."

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Fergus Ewing MSP, confirmed his support for the commission: "The launch of SCDI's new Rural Commission is good news for Scotland's rural economy, providing an independent voice for the promotion of best practice and innovation in policy.

"The commission is established at a time when communities and policy makers are envisaging a more diverse future for the rural economy. For example, the National Council of Rural Advisors - the Scottish Government's independent rural advisory body – will be making some recommendations later this year, after consulting with rural stakeholders."

ENDS.

Job Vacancy - Policy Manager

April 2018

SCDI is looking for a Policy Manager for an initial 12-month fixed-term contract, with continuation dependant on future funding.  To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to Matt Lancashire (matt.lancashire@scdi.org.uk), Director of Policy and Public Affairs, by 12 noon on Friday 27 April 2018.

Department:  Policy & Public Affairs
Direct Line Manager: Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Direct Reports: None
Salary: £30,000 - £35,000 + benefits

Main Purpose of Job:
•  To drive SCDI’s work in economic and public policy and research, embedding its values and reinforcing its reputation for thought leadership.
• To communicate effectively and strategically to members, stakeholders, politicians at a regional, Scottish national, UK and global level SCDI’s vital role in shaping a sustainable and prosperous Scotland.
• To deliver the policy and public affairs plan and objectives and contribute to the continuing success of SCDI.

Main Duties:
• Deliver SCDI’s policy and research work to influence Government policies and our members actions to encourage sustainable economic prosperity.
• Research, investigate and produce policy focussed papers for Government, members and other policy makers on a wide range of economic, business and related social subjects in which the SCDI has an economic and civic interest.
• Communicate effectively and strategically to members, stakeholders, politicians at regional, Scottish, UK and European levels SCDI’s policy positions to support the SCDI strategy.
• Identify opportunities and undertake research on a wide range of, business and related social subjects in which SCDI has an economic and civic interest.
• Support the creation, development and delivery of SCDI’s programme of policy conferences, events, workshops and membership activities to support SCDI’s policy objectives and contribute to revenues.
• Support the work of SCDI through researching, writing, contributing to, and/or delivering speeches at SCDI events and external policy events.
 
Skills, Knowledge, Experience:
• Educated to degree level, with excellent policy, research and communication skills and a deep understanding of the economic, civic and political landscape.
• A sound understanding and experience of policy formulation, and the capacity to develop SCDI’s capabilities in both qualitative and quantitative research.
• Ability to work constructively with policy makers and influencers, including politicians, SCDI members and stakeholders.
• Strong presentational skills and a clear, accurate and engaging writing style.
• Excellent planning, organisational and management skills.
• Ability to work under pressure and deliver quality outputs.

Complexity and Creativity:
• A strategic thinker, who can drive change and steer policy work and structures in new directions aligned with opportunities and priorities.
• Ability to understand, navigate and provide sound advice on complex, and often rapidly changing, economic and political issues and situations.
• Ability to balance short and long-term priorities – to think quickly and work accurately and concisely to tight deadlines, and to manage policy projects.

Judgement and Decisions:
• Maturity of judgement, energy, focus, commitment, diligence and the confidence to communicate clearly with internal and external audiences.
• A self-motivated team player who understands, can demonstrate commitment to and can take responsibility for developing SCDI’s mission and values.
• Flexibility and the ability to make decisions and work well under pressure.
• Creative, innovative and an ability to translate ideas into action.
 
Contacts / Communications:
• Internal - Board, senior management, team, SCDI members and stakeholders.
• External - Established network of senior contacts in policy, political and media circles. 

Job Vacancy - Policy Manager

April 2018

SCDI is looking for a Policy Manager for an initial 12-month fixed-term contract, with continuation dependant on future funding.  To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter to Matt Lancashire (matt.lancashire@scdi.org.uk), Director of Policy and Public Affairs, by 12 noon on Friday 27 April 2018.

Department:  Policy & Public Affairs
Direct Line Manager: Director of Policy and Public Affairs
Direct Reports: None
Salary: £30,000 - £35,000 + benefits

Main Purpose of Job:
•  To drive SCDI’s work in economic and public policy and research, embedding its values and reinforcing its reputation for thought leadership.
• To communicate effectively and strategically to members, stakeholders, politicians at a regional, Scottish national, UK and global level SCDI’s vital role in shaping a sustainable and prosperous Scotland.
• To deliver the policy and public affairs plan and objectives and contribute to the continuing success of SCDI.

Main Duties:
• Deliver SCDI’s policy and research work to influence Government policies and our members actions to encourage sustainable economic prosperity.
• Research, investigate and produce policy focussed papers for Government, members and other policy makers on a wide range of economic, business and related social subjects in which the SCDI has an economic and civic interest.
• Communicate effectively and strategically to members, stakeholders, politicians at regional, Scottish, UK and European levels SCDI’s policy positions to support the SCDI strategy.
• Identify opportunities and undertake research on a wide range of, business and related social subjects in which SCDI has an economic and civic interest.
• Support the creation, development and delivery of SCDI’s programme of policy conferences, events, workshops and membership activities to support SCDI’s policy objectives and contribute to revenues.
• Support the work of SCDI through researching, writing, contributing to, and/or delivering speeches at SCDI events and external policy events.
 
Skills, Knowledge, Experience:
• Educated to degree level, with excellent policy, research and communication skills and a deep understanding of the economic, civic and political landscape.
• A sound understanding and experience of policy formulation, and the capacity to develop SCDI’s capabilities in both qualitative and quantitative research.
• Ability to work constructively with policy makers and influencers, including politicians, SCDI members and stakeholders.
• Strong presentational skills and a clear, accurate and engaging writing style.
• Excellent planning, organisational and management skills.
• Ability to work under pressure and deliver quality outputs.

Complexity and Creativity:
• A strategic thinker, who can drive change and steer policy work and structures in new directions aligned with opportunities and priorities.
• Ability to understand, navigate and provide sound advice on complex, and often rapidly changing, economic and political issues and situations.
• Ability to balance short and long-term priorities – to think quickly and work accurately and concisely to tight deadlines, and to manage policy projects.

Judgement and Decisions:
• Maturity of judgement, energy, focus, commitment, diligence and the confidence to communicate clearly with internal and external audiences.
• A self-motivated team player who understands, can demonstrate commitment to and can take responsibility for developing SCDI’s mission and values.
• Flexibility and the ability to make decisions and work well under pressure.
• Creative, innovative and an ability to translate ideas into action.
 
Contacts / Communications:
• Internal - Board, senior management, team, SCDI members and stakeholders.
• External - Established network of senior contacts in policy, political and media circles. 

A day of competition at the YESC North East STEM Celebration

March 2018

Young people from schools across the North East gathered at BP's North Sea headquarters in Aberdeen today to take part in the Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) annual North East Celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

The day featured three competitions and a mix of nine primary and secondary schools showcased their projects and battled it out for prizes.

The event is sponsored by BP and Shell U.K. Limited and included a primary and secondary STEM competition, with the two sponsors and other YESC partners - Wood, Chevron, Lloyd's Register, the Royal Navy, Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Vattenfall and the Royal Society of Chemistry - each providing a three-minute, hands-on challenge. The challenge doubles up as an opportunity to provide the young people with an insight into the different career paths available in the STEM industry.

The primary school STEM Challenge winner was Hanover Street. The secondary school STEM Challenge winner was Alford Academy.

As part of 'Don't Waste a Drop', YESC's national STEM Challenge for 2018, participating North East primary and secondary clubs also presented their model pump and pipeline and put it to the test to transfer water without wasting a drop!

The Don't Waste a Drop primary school winner was Clerkhill. The Don't Waste a Drop secondary winner was Robert Gordon's College.

The coveted primary and secondary North East Club of the Year titles were announced at the end of the day, with winning schools scooping prizes of £200 for STEM resources.

The 2017/2018 North East Primary Club of the Year is Clerkhill. The 2017/2018 North East Secondary Club of the Year is Portlethan.

Peter Miller, interim regional president, BP North Sea said: "BP is delighted to once again support the SCDI's Young Engineers and Science Clubs initiative and to host this year's North East Celebration. Developing future capability and talent in STEM is key for the success of our industry and, as always, this year's event delivered a range of fun activities designed to stimulate an interest in these vital subjects. I was hugely impressed by the creativity and quality of the projects and would like to congratulate the winners and all the pupils for putting in so much effort and showing such enthusiasm."

Shannon Ouellette, onshore asset manager, Shell U.K. Limited, added: "Today's event highlighted not only the enormous amount of talented young engineers and scientists in the area, but the enthusiasm and excitement they have for the subjects.

"Shell's work in partnership with the SCDI Young Engineers and Science Clubs plays a critical role in providing resources to schools across Scotland that will ensure a new generation will continue Scotland's legacy of innovation in science and engineering industries. Congratulations are due to the participating pupils and teachers for their obvious hard work on these great projects."

Rebecca MacLennan, YESC programme director, said: "We're delighted that the celebration is sponsored by BP and Shell U.K. Limited; their commitment to highlighting the diverse STEM industry and career paths that exist in the North East is inspiring."

SCDI conference aims to help create maximum economic benefit for Scotland

March 2018

Today (9 March 2018) a conference on the topic of the UK Industrial Strategy (UKIS) will take place at Glasgow City Chambers with over 100 leaders from the private, public and academic sectors in attendance.

The stated purpose of the UKIS is 'to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country'. SCDI believes Scotland should aim to maximise opportunities for Scotland across Challenge Funds, sector deals and city and regional growth deals, and discussions at the conference will focus on what Scotland's strengths are; what interventions would make a difference at scale; and what would drive business growth and deliver on wider economic, social and environmental priorities.

Matt Lancashire, Director of Policy at SCDI, explained: "Bringing Scottish and UK Government and the public, private, academic and social economy sectors together will ensure that the best deal for Scotland from the UKIS is realised. Today's conference not only convenes this diverse thinking together but will identify the key opportunities across Scotland where we can build on our strengths to support inclusive economic growth."

19 speakers will present, across five sessions, including contributions from the Scottish and UK governments.

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, said:

"The Scottish Government is delighted to support today's event organised by SCDI. They play an important role in connecting the business community with the public sector, trade unions, and charities.

"We welcome the stated objectives of the UK Industrial Strategy and are ready and willing to work with the UK Government, businesses, and the academic community to ensure the Strategy delivers maximum economic benefit for Scotland.

"The Scottish Government published a comprehensive Economic Strategy in 2015 which focusses on Innovation, Investment, Internationalisation and, critically, Inclusive Growth. We look forward to working with relevant partners to ensure that the UK Industrial Strategy complements the action we are already taking to stimulate and strengthen the Scottish economy."

Outcomes from the conference will help shape several pieces of work that SCDI will carry out with the aim of ensuring maximum economic benefit for Scotland from the UKIS.

Schools from across the region gather for STEM celebration

March 2018

Young people from schools across the region will gather at BP's Aberdeen headquarters to take part in the Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) annual Highlands & Islands Celebration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, today.

Over 100 young people, from 16 schools, will come together to showcase their innovative STEM projects and learn about the exciting STEM industry in the region - and the range of careers available - through a series of interactive challenges set by our partners.

Clubs will compete for the coveted titles of Primary and Secondary Highlands & Islands Club of the Year, with prizes of £200 for STEM resources for the school up for grabs.

Over lunchtime, the national Space Academy will deliver an interactive presentation about rocket fuels, including a 'woosh bottle' activity to demonstrate the workings of a rocket motor!
Melanie Riddell, Programme Manager of Young Engineers and Science Clubs, said: "I'm so impressed by the range and quality of the showcases, which highlights the pupils' dedication to developing critical knowledge and skills that will support them through school and into working life.

"We're delighted that the celebration is supported by so many companies who have given up their time to highlight the diverse STEM industry and career paths that exist in the Highlands and Islands."

As part of 'Don't Waste a Drop', this year's YESC national STEM challenge, participating regional primary and secondary clubs will also present their model pump and pipeline and put it to the test to transfer water without wasting a drop! The competition will be judged by this year's STEM challenge partner, national water retailer Wave, who will decide the primary and secondary Highlands & Islands winners.

Tony March, Head of Public Sector at Wave, said: "We have been extremely impressed with both the number and very high quality of entries from schools to the 'Don't Waste a Drop' challenge.

"As a company we're proud to support this challenge and to highlight not only the difficulties faced by water suppliers in keeping water flowing around the clock, but also to inspire the next generation of STEM recruits. There are a wide variety of careers open to those with STEM qualifications and this challenge is a great opportunity to get young people excited about their future job prospects.

"This is exactly the types of project that can encourage young people to take an interest in STEM subjects, helping us ensure our future workforce is well-equipped and supported to address the needs of society both today and in the future."

The Highlands and Islands annual celebration event is run in partnership with IMechE, Tulloch Homes Ltd, Nigg Skills Academy, LifeScan Scotland, Marine Harvest Scotland, SGL Carbon Fibre, Breedon Group, Denchi Power, Royal Bank of Scotland, Highlands and Islands Airport Ltd, SIMEC Lochaber Power, Institution of Civil Engineers and CalMac.

Getting Scotland ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

February 2018

A report published today (20 February) sets out recommendations on economic development, education and employment to ensure that Scotland reaps the rewards of the digital and automation revolutions.

In "Automatic...For The People?", SCDI, BT Scotland, ScotlandIS and RSE are calling on governments, industry and civic organisations to provide strategic leadership and involve all parts of society in creating a national vision and action plan to guide Scotland through the challenges and opportunities of automation and digital disruption.

Focusing on the key issue of how Scotland can harness the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to increase economic and social prosperity, the report was informed by automation and digitalisation analysis from the Fraser of Allander Institute. It identifies new business and employment opportunities as well as the areas of economic activity that are most likely to be exposed to digital changes in Scotland.

The report includes 12 key recommendations on how Scotland can boost productivity and generate higher inclusive economic growth against a background of a reducing working age population.

Health and social care challenges offer opportunities for Scotland to exploit data-driven research and innovation to find new solutions. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and the Centre for Work-based Learning's forthcoming Skills 4.0 report highlights that as more routine and non-routine tasks are automated, the demand for self-management, social intelligence, and innovation skills will grow and the need for specialist upskilling in areas like artificial intelligence becoming essential. In education, digital thinking needs to become embedded throughout the curriculum to create a culture where innovation and digital exploitation is pursued naturally.

Matt Lancashire, Director of Policy at SCDI, explained: "The report highlights the need for a national discussion about a Fourth Industrial Revolution strategy. The timing of this report is pivotal as Scotland is at a crossroads. There is a lot of good work on automation and digitalisation across the country but there needs to be an inclusive, joined-up strategy - with economic and social dimensions - as is being adopted in frontrunner countries."

Mark Dames, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at BT Scotland, said: "If Scotland is to reap the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the country needs to become a truly digital nation, able to adopt new technologies quickly and adapt them for economic and social gain. Our education system will need to shift towards a focus on digital skills from the early years onwards and our workforces will need to continually upskill, so they can respond to highly disruptive marketplaces."

Polly Purvis, CEO at ScotlandIS, added: "Automation will enable more and more businesses and public-sector organisations to increase productivity and free up staff time to concentrate on more valuable elements of their work. It provides a huge economic opportunity for Scotland and one that we are increasingly well placed to harness with our innovative digital technologies companies, world-class computing science research base and skilled technology workforce. However, we need to consider and test longer-term policy options, such as reduced working hours and a job guarantee, to ensure inclusive growth across Scotland in the future."

ENDS.

The previous two reports that this group has published can be found here: Digital Solutions to the Productivity Puzzle and Smart Citizens, Smart City Regions – Delivering Digital Public Services in Scotland.

SCDI AGM 2018

February 2018

Thursday 22 February, 11:15 for 11:45
Venue: Apex Grassmarket Hotel, 31-35 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2HS

The Annual General Meeting of SCDI will be held at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel on Thursday 22 February 2018 between 11:45 and 12:30, followed by a networking lunch from 12:30 – 13:30. All members are invited.

This is a significant time of change, and SCDI has been considering its role working with and through our members to lead and shape Scotland's economy. We have set a new direction and an increase in our ambition for the future. We will share our plans at this meeting which will include a short annual address from SCDI's Chair, Brendan Dick.

Refreshments will be available prior to the meeting from 11:15. The AGM will conclude with a networking lunch enabling you to meet a wide cross-section of members and the SCDI team.

National challenge to encourage young people into STEM careers launched

January 2018

A major national challenge to excite and encourage children and young people into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers has been launched at Bridge of Weir Primary School today by Derek Mackay, local MSP and Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution.

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s (SCDI) Young Engineers and Science Clubs (YESC) programme and leading national water retailer Wave have joined forces to create SCDI’s 2018 Science Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) Challenge, ‘Don’t Waste a Drop’.  The challenge – an annual competition for primary and secondary schools – will see 200 kits distributed to schools throughout Scotland and teams tasked with designing and building a pump and pipeline that can transfer water without wasting a drop. 

Teams will be invited to showcase their designs and put them to the test during SCDI’s Regional Celebration of STEM events, with cash prizes awarded to winning teams to invest in STEM resources. The challenge culminates with the final at SCDI’s Annual Celebration of STEM, where national winners will be decided.

Wave is a 50/50 joint venture between Anglian Water Business (AWB) and Northumbrian Water Group Business (NWGB) and is the second largest water retailer in Scotland.  Wave currently operates the Scottish Government contract for providing water billing and efficiency services to Scotland’s public sector, including schools, universities, and local authorities.

Rebecca MacLennan, YESC’s Programme Director, said: “We are delighted to be launching this project in partnership with Wave.  Water leakage is an important issue for households, businesses and the environment.   The theme of water conservation provides a topical context for pupils in schools across Scotland to develop their interest in science and engineering. Throughout the challenge they’ll develop valuable skills for learning, life and work while gaining a fantastic insight into the diverse range of career opportunities within Wave and the sector.”

Tony March, Head of Public Sector at Wave, added: “We’re proud to support this challenge and to highlight not only the difficulties faced by water suppliers in keeping water flowing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but also to inspire the next generation of STEM recruits. There are a wide variety of careers open to those with STEM qualifications and this challenge is a great opportunity to get young people excited about their future job prospects.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Constitution Derek Mackay, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for children to be creative and come up with innovative ways of conserving water which is important for our economy, environment, health and wellbeing.

“These are exactly the types of projects that can encourage young people to take an interest in STEM subjects like science and engineering and that can help us ensure our future workforce is well-equipped and supported to make the most of the fast-paced technological changes around us.”

-----ENDS-----

SCDI responds to Scottish Government Draft Budget

December 2017

The Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has urged caution following the Scottish Government's budget, warning that tax rises are not a panacea in developing a sustainable future economy for Scotland

Mark Bevan said:

"This is a progressive, mature and significant use of Scotland's income tax powers. However it comes on the back of a sustained period of weak growth in 2017 of 0.7% for the Scottish Economy. We need to review whether the revenues forecast are actually raised. An independent analysis of the spending priorities needs to be undertaken in light of ring fenced financing and the pressures on public services.

"We need a stronger correlation between our ambitions for society and the ability of our economy to deliver - this is a sign from government to link the two. But we can't tax our way out of our inequalities, labour market deficits, low productivity and stagnating growth. We need longer term thinking on policy, public infrastructure, investment and talent."

"Future growth requires our productivity challenge to be addressed and the initiatives which attract and retain talent will support this. In that context, we welcome the announcements on increasing research and development funding by 70% as well as a commitment to deliver £600m to ensure access to superfast broadband for all homes and businesses by 2021. Support for childcare is essential to ensure that all of our potential workforce can contribute to our future."

"SCDI's priority is to create an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society with change set within the context of wider uncertainties for the Scottish economy."

ENDS

SCDI responds to Chancellor’s 2017 Budget

November 2017

Following Chancellor Philip Hammond’s, 2017 Budget announcement, Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) commented:

 “Today’s statement reinforces what we know about economic performance. It reminds us that sustainable growth requires long term policy, public infrastructure, investment and talent.

“The success of our future economy requires long-term strategic issues to be addressed systematically, rather than a focus on tomorrow’s headlines. First amongst those challenges is the need to address our productivity challenge, and the initiatives which value young people and encourage them to study, live and work in our economy are a step forward. They will help all sectors to attract and retain the talent they need to become more productive.

“The potential for public service investment driven by the VAT reform on emergency services, alongside the investment in both the UK industrial strategy and further research and development are warmly welcomed. Scotland’s two governments have a clearly diverging approach to the economy and taxation. 

“SCDI’s priority is to deliver an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society.” 

ENDS

Investment in the public realm "key to Scotland's future" - SCDI

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has published an innovative report examining how place can enhance economic prosperity and encourage Scotland into a growth mindset for future city development.

Through convening an expert working group, comprising thought leaders in planning and development of public realm and cultural infrastructure spaces, SCDI has produced Productive Places: Creating spaces for the new economy to thrive. This thought-provoking report is intended to start the conversation about the importance of place and its role in enhancing economic growth in a digital era.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Productive Places is a response to the overwhelming economic transition Scotland has undergone in the last twenty years and how, as a society, we must shift mindset to enhance future city development.

“SCDI is looking to the Scottish Government, local authorities, businesses and third sector agencies to redouble efforts to reinvigorate Scotland’s public spaces and green places, recognising the vital importance of their role in our economy, in social-equity, environment and health.

“Our hope is that this report becomes a catalyst for conversations about Scotland’s needs in a future post-digital economy, how policymakers can support this and how business leaders will facilitate it. Scotland’s cities are the heartbeat of our future economy, and investment in our public realm is key to Scotland’s future.”

The report was authored by Professor Brian Evans, Head of Urbanism at the Glasgow School of Art. Professor Evans added:

“By 2050, the UN predicts that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities – we are in the century of the city.  In the global north there is a paradigm change from the industrial city to the knowledge city that are clustered around universities, cultural and learning neighbourhoods where there is a demand for mixed-use neighbourhoods and an experience economy.

“In this changing world, the quality of place becomes ever more important. Scotland’s cities are well placed to participate in this new economy. It was a privilege to work with SCDI to prepare this important paper as a contribution to the discussion on place as a driver of the future economy.”

The report can be accessed at:  https://l.scdi.scot/2zjLHkf or download

Trevor Garlick appointed Chair of SCDI’s North East Committee

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has appointed a former regional president of BP as Chair of its North East Committee. Trevor Garlick OBE, who previously had responsibility for BP’s North Sea business, along with the firm’s assets in Scotland and Norway will take on the role, replacing Colin Parker, chief executive of Aberdeen Harbour.

As well as heading up the Committee, Trevor will also join SCDI’s board. SCDI recently announced a raft of new appointments to its board to reflect a new dynamism and focus, to create a practical blueprint for Scotland’s economic future. The board changes are part of a wider strategy within the organisation to demonstrate its members ambition and an investment in people and technology.

Commenting on his appointment, Trevor Garlick said:

"I look forward to picking up the reins from my predecessor Colin Parker and would like to acknowledge his sterling work of the past six years.  It is a privilege to be the latest in a lineage of North East Committee Chairs which dates back to 1965 and I aim to be a strong advocate for the interests of our members in the region to government and others.

"I also look forward to rejoining the SCDI Board and will seek to ensure that the NE Scotland business perspective is fully represented in SCDI’s Scotland-wide strategic thinking”.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, added:

“We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Trevor as chair of our North East Committee and subsequently to our board. Trevor brings an incredible wealth of experience and exceptional skillset and will be an asset to SCDI at a key time for the organisation.

“SCDI has a unique role to play in shaping Scotland’s economic and social future by convening the combined strength of businesses, the public sector and government to work together to secure our sustainable economic growth and we are delighted to have made a number of high level appointments to support the growth and new direction of SCDI.”

Trevor will take up the post of chair from the start of January 2018.

ENDS 

Cross-border connectivity plans have “huge significance”

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has welcomed plans to improve cross-border connectivity between Scotland and England. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today (Monday) announced major steps to reduce journey times by rail. 

Speaking to business leaders in Newcastle, the First Minister confirmed that  feasibility studies were being commissioned to identify options to help improve train journey times, capacity, resilience and reliability on services between Scotland and England. 

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“Improving transport connectivity is of huge significance to Scotland’s economy and future growth. With this in mind we welcome major steps to reduce journey times, like those announced today by the First Minister. 

“Businesses north of the border rely heavily on their ability to connect with the north of England, London, and the rest of the UK, so any measures which significantly reduce rail travel time will bring real benefits.  

“SCDI chairs the High Speed Rail Scotland Group and the latest proposals provide a framework for investing in Scotland’s wider rail network, ensuring that the improvements are felt throughout the whole country and not just across the central belt. Every area deserves to share in the benefits of economic growth and whilst ideas can travel quickly through our digital connections, that does not replace our need for transport links.”

ENDS

SCDI announces key new board appointments

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has announced a number of key appointments to its board. Among the new board members are the Scotch Whisky Association's Chief Executive, Karen Betts; Stephen Boyle, Chief Economist for The Royal Bank of Scotland; former Scotland Office Minister Lord Andrew Dunlop; Cornerstone's Chief Executive Edel Harris; Jim McColl, Founder, Chairman & CEO of Clyde Blowers; Ray Riddoch, UK Managing Director & VP Europe, Nexen Petroleum UK Limited; and Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland.

Following the appointment of Mark Bevan as CEO in May the changes at Board level are associated with a new dynamism and focus, to create a practical blueprint for Scotland's economic future. This is amongst a raft of changes within the organisation to reflect its members ambition and an investment in people and technology.

SCDI President, Lady Susan Rice CBE said:

"SCDI hold a unique place in Scottish life looking at how businesses, the public sector and government can all work together to secure our sustainable economic growth. These new appointments, and the decision of these leaders from across Scotland to help guide the organisation, shows the strength we have in convening those who want to shape this country's future."

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, added:

"SCDI's Board has demonstrated exceptional strength in identifying the need for change in Scotland, for a need for all of the actors in our economy to become architects of our economic future and to put our economy to work for everyone who lives here."

"Following my appointment in May, we undertook a thorough review with the assistance of our members and supported by McKinsey and Company. The conclusion of that review, is that the SCDI has a unique role to play as Scotland's Economic and Social Forum and that there is an urgent need to act. This means drawing from our near 90 year heritage and setting a level of future ambition commensurate with Scotland's leading lights across the private, public and not for profit sectors. I am delighted to announce a number of high level appointments from across Civic Scotland to complement our existing board."

These appointment's join the existing board members Brendan Dick, SCDI Chair and Managing Director BT Regions & Director of BT Scotland; Ian Wall, SCDI Deputy Chair; Stewart Carruth, Chief Executive of Stirling Council; Jane Cumming, Chair of SCDI Highlands & Islands Committee and Managing Director, Platform PR; James Fowlie, Director of Integration & Development at COSLA; Willie Maltman, Director of Future Proof Learning; Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI; Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of Oil & Gas UK; Steve Montgomery, Managing Director - UK Rail at FirstGroup plc; Colin Parker, Chair of SCDI North East Committee and Chief Executive of Aberdeen Harbour; Malcolm Robertson, Chair of SCDI London Committee; and Managing Director of Charlotte Street Partners; Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the Scottish Trades Union Congress; and Michael Urquhart, SCDI Finance Adviser and Chair, SCDI International Business Committee.

SCDI urges MSPs to look to the long term in debate on Scotland’s tax future

November 2017

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry has welcomed a debate on tax following the Scottish Government paper on income tax rate options.

The Role of Income Tax in Scotland’s Budget, published today (Thursday 2nd November), sets out the Scottish Parliament’s powers over income tax, its budgetary contribution, who pays and the benefits of taxation for individuals and businesses.

Mark Bevan, Chief Executive of SCDI, said:

“SCDI fully supports building a constructive and considered debate on Scotland’s tax future and we urge caution on short-term measures for a more longer term and balance view on tax which delivers economic prosperity and good quality of life for all.

 

“Crucially, government, industry and civic society need to work together on a tax strategy for the long term, so that we can be confident that the post-digital, low carbon economy now emerging will support inclusive growth, public services and fiscal sustainability during significant changes in business models, working practices and life.”

 

The Finance Secretary Derek Mackay MSP will host two stakeholder roundtables later this month with business organisations, trade unions, civic society and tax professionals.

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October 2017

 

Come and work with us

Do you share our ambition to make Scotland the best country in the world in which to live, work and spend time? Are you interested in meeting some of the most influential leaders in Scotland and from around the world, and do you have the skills we need to help those people, our members, to make Scotland the very best it can be, for everyone? Then you should think about coming to work with us.

SCDI is Scotland's Economic and Social Forum. Our small team brings together leaders and influencers from the worlds of business, the social economy, politics, academia, trades unions and faith organisations. Our goal is simple; sustainable economic growth which delivers prosperity for all of Scotland. We are a not for profit company with a clear purpose, strong on enthusiasm and competence, and because what our team does matters to Scotland's future, we look after them well.

 

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Scottish Businesses Rising To International Challenges

September 2017

SCDI leads charge to help Scottish businesses achieve global ambitions

In Glasgow on Thursday 21 September, SCDI convened a Summit of Scotland's business leaders to identify opportunities for the country to fulfil its global economic potential in a post-Brexit environment.

The annual SCDI International Business Summit brought together leaders from key sectors across the Scottish economy and expert speakers from government and industry. The summit on the theme of 'Scottish Business: Rising To International Challenges' examined the landscape surrounding Scotland's international trade and considered the critical foundations that will help to form a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "As the World Economic Forum meets in New York to discuss sustainable international trade, SCDI convened its third International Business Summit to identify how Scotland can maximise global opportunities and navigate this increasingly complex environment.

"Scotland is home to many international success stories - from our universities and tech sector to tourism, travel, food and drink. Their growth, increased output and investment provide grounds for optimism. However, with significant challenges on the horizon and little certainty on the landscape, action must be taken to support Scotland's economic strengths."

The summit heard from a range of experts and business leaders, including EDF Energy, AGS Airports Ltd, Lloyds Banking Group, Scotland Food & Drink and TATA Limited in UK.

Mark Bevan continued: "Today's findings will help to prepare the foundations for a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy. SCDI will continue its work to shape the future economy of Scotland, taking steps to support and meet the needs of business growth over the coming decades." 

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Awards Ceremony Recognises Highlands & Islands Business Achievements

September 2017 | Highlands & Islands

Deputy First Minister celebrates Scottish successes at SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards

Business leaders from across Scotland gathered in Inverness on the eve of Friday 8 September 2017 to celebrate success at the annual SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards, presented by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP.

The Awards showcased the achievements of organisations from across the Highlands and Islands and celebrated business excellence in a range of sectors - from local authorities initiatives and fish farming, to marine energy and transport - demonstrating the diverse nature of the Highlands and Islands economy.

Delivered by SCDI, the Awards are supported by high profile sponsors - including SEPA, Crown Estate Scotland, Liberty British Aluminium, HIE Scotland and Benromach - and are rigorously judged, providing the opportunity for organisations to be recognised for their businesses achievements.

Awards host and popular comedian, Marcus Brigstocke, was joined by Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP who presented the Awards.

Mr Swinney had earlier in the evening delivered the Keynote Address, focussing on the themes of an inclusive economy in Scotland for all geographies and society, and the importance of business internationalisation. He commended SCDI's ability since it's foundation in 1931 to bring together disparate opinions in the pursuit of finding a common cause, through open and honest conversation and collaboration. The 350 dinner guests heard of The Scottish Government's aim to make Scotland an inclusive, fair, prosperous and innovative country.

Amongst the Winners on the evening was Loch Ness by Jacobite. The company picked up the prestigious SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair's Award for Outstanding Business Achievement. Loch Ness by Jacobite was recognised for its remarkable reputation, gained over the past 40 years, in helping thousands of visitors access and experience the magic of Loch Ness. Under the leadership of Freda Newton the company has grown its fleet and is one of Scotland's finest tourist attractions. 

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SCDI Convenes Civic & Business Leaders - Outlines Economic Case To HM Treasury

September 2017

SCDI today (Thursday 7 September 2017) welcomed the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, to Glasgow and discuss a range of opportunities for the UK Government to further support and strengthen Scotland's economic growth.

At a roundtable event, SCDI and a range of Scotland's business leaders, met with the Chief Secretary to discuss how the UK Government can help to realise Scotland's economic potential.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "As Scotland's economic forum, SCDI welcomed the opportunity to engage with the Chief Secretary and civic and business leaders from across our membership on the opportunities and challenges the economy faces over the years ahead.

"SCDI will be working to ensure Scotland's economic strengths, both sectoral and regional, are supported through the UK Government's Industrial strategy as it develops, and all members highlighted opportunities, and we must co-ordinate, between businesses, regions and Governments to realise them. To unlock these as we move through the Brexit process it is important that Scottish businesses are as confident as possible that their interests and needs are being taken into account, and that there is greater clarity for example in relation to future funding for innovation and regeneration

"As we chart our course over the next few years, we must not lose sight of changing global trends and look to shape the future economy of Scotland, taking steps to support and meet the needs of businesses growth over the coming decades."

The roundtable is an essential part of SCDI's engagement with both the UK and Scottish Government in order to deliver a sustainable economy and successful society for the long-term in Scotland. 

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